Herb: Blue Sow Thistle


Latin name: Cicerbita alpina


Synonyms: Lactuca alpina, Sonchus alpinus


Family: Compositae



Medicinal use of Blue Sow Thistle:

The leaves and milky sap were at one time often used in herbal medicine, though are seldom employed nowadays. They are diuretic and are also applied externally to inflammations.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Perennial


Height:
100 cm
(3 1/4 foot)

Flovering:
July to
September

Habitat of the herb:

A very rare native of Scotland, growing on alpine rock in moist places.

Edible parts of Blue Sow Thistle:

Young shoots and stems - raw. The skin is first removed, but the shoots are still rather bitter and unpalatable. Older stems can also be peeled and eaten raw but have a bitter taste.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - sow spring in a cold frame. Only just cover the seed and do not let the compost dry out. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer. Division in spring. We have found it best to pot up the clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer or following spring.

Cultivation of Blue Sow Thistle:

A very rare native of Scotland, growing on alpine rock in moist places.

Known hazards of Cicerbita alpina:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.